They sit around watching and whispering. His little sister sniggers and reaches for another baadusha. She doesn’t like that one already.
She is trapped. The delicate oosivanam stripes of her sari hold her captive in their silken cage. The heavy anklets make escape impossible. She stands rooted to the spot, staring at them as they stare at her.
What do they see? Something rare perhaps, like a white tiger. After all, how many mothers could proudly claim that their Ph.D daughters knew the Soundarya Lahiri and could tie a madisaar?
A monkey maybe, present for their entertainment.
‘Now sing a song’
‘Tell them what research you do.’
‘Bring out your watercolours’
‘She’s very domesticated’ her mother says. Ah, a farm animal. Hard working, subservient, no mind of her own.
‘Well, we should be going now. Our son is only here for another 3 days and we need to see his other options. Please don’t wait for our phone call.’
A rhinoceros. That’s what she is.